Ryanair have been delving into the world of Formula 1 of late, getting involved with multiple teams in some social media banter.
The latest round revolves around Lance Stroll and his status as a pay driver in Formula 1 amid the saga involving Oscar Piastri and Fernando Alonso.
After Sebastian Vettel announced his retirement ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix, there was plenty of speculation as to who would be elected to replace the four-time world champion.
There was also surprise as to the timing of the announcement, but that all became clear when Aston Martin issued a press release confirming that Alonso has signed them for next year to replace the German.
The 41-year-old had been waiting on Alpine to give him a longer contract, but they were not sure how long to give him in case they could not find a loan option for reserve driver Oscar Piastri.
It was therefore possible that, if they were unable to get the Australian into another team, they would drop the 41-year-old and sign the Formula 2 champion instead.
Alonso did not wait for this possibility to transpire, so made some arrangements of his own by signing with billionaire businessman Lawrence Stroll.
Meanwhile, Alpine have been struggling to secure a deal for Piastri to sign with another team and, in case Alonso did leave, they wanted to keep their options open.
Therefore, they have not committed to any agreements, keeping Piastri in limbo while he awaited Alonso’s decision, so he too grew impatient.
His manager, Mark Webber, has reportedly been discussing a deal with McLaren in a move that could even see Daniel Ricciardo return to the French team.
However, Alpine believe that they have a deal in place with Piastri that allows them to promote him and obliges him to drive for them next season.
They therefore issued a statement of their own confirming that the 21-year-old has been promoted, before Piastri publicly denied this.
Ryanair compared the drama to their policy of randomly allocating seats on a plane, to which a Twitter user replied, “But can you pay to choose your seat?”
The Ryanair admin replied: “Just like Lance Stroll.”
This was in reference to the fact that the Canadian, who will be Alonso’s team-mate next season, got his first drive with Williams in 2017 when Lawrence paid for his seat, and he was also brought to the Aston Martin team under its Racing Point guise in 2019 after Lawrence bought it in 2018.
Being a pay driver is far from the 23-year-old full story though; he won the Formula 3 European Championship in 2016 before his move into F1, and has scored three podiums in the pinnacle of motorsport.